Real Democracy Demands Economic Democracy

The Garment Worker Scott Beale/ Flickr/creative commons

The Garment Worker
Scott Beale/
Flickr/creative commons

“Only 1 out of 8 American households is able to have the American Dream.”

Richard D. Wolff, author of Democracy At Work: A Cure for Capitalism, and leader of the Democracy At Work movement, appearing on Bill Maher’s HBO show, Real Time

We were told as children that capitalism was good because it supported the middle class. We were sold on the idea as “the American way,” but we all must admit at this point that capitalism has led us to some very bad consequences, burying this country in turmoil by making everyone poor so a few can become rich . . . very, very rich.

Wolff is a heterodox economist and Professor at The New School in New York City, looking more broadly at systems that work for all people, not just the “winners,” the few at the top. Wolff shows us how our capitalist crisis heaps “huge burdens on us for years,” taking issue with Americans total rejection of marxist criticism and other critics who actually had a few good alternatives for how to better approach commerce.

Wolff has become the chief spokesman bringing people to understand why democracy is absent from our economic system. 

For example, Wolff explains in the video below how new associations can make substantive change by replacing capitalism with worker self-directed enterprises (WSDEs) wherein workers decide how to use profits.  

Upon our relaunch this past spring, our Manifesto for A New Age of Sexual Freedom offered up the formula for real progress: the elimination of old, inhumane, and coercive systems; the preservation of what is old but also humane; and the creation of new, humane, and voluntary systems. We like to catalog progress, taking note when we we see it. Democracy At Work is one of the best examples of this new movement and is worthy of our attention and support. Together, we can make a difference.


Also see: The Silenced Majority by Amy Goodman


Counting on what is good

By everyone’s estimation, last week was bad, in fact we are having many bad weeks piling up for sometime now. But, these horrible events distract us from all the good that is emerging at the same time. It’s not Pollyanna-like to see that this cauldron of world-wide strife is now bubbling over for all to see and evaluate and soundly reject. 

13208598245_b71e3e0fc5_bUniversal human rights, environmental protection, and self-determination, and all that they convey, will prevail, not just because of their rightness but because they represent survival. Science-denying, theocratic fundamentalists, here and abroad, simply have no future.

Previously I have asked the question, What would happen if there was an alien invasion? Whether the aliens were friendly or not, we as a planet would join together to respond irrespective of the nationalistic tendencies some hold dear. This nationalism (and the racism that underlies it) is a disease and is at the root of all of the world’s ills whether we are talking about America’s failed immigration policies or arms aggression across the globe.

Our manifesto written in connection with VenusPlusX’s relaunch in April offers more about how progress inevitably overcomes regress. Progress itself has its own natural ecology, although at times like this it takes a little thought to see it.

We’ve already talked about the right-wing theocracy destroying American democracy; their paper trail speaks for itself, but voters will ultimately reject the policies and laws wrought by these old, white, sexually sick hacks, from the Supreme Court to Congress to local school boards to seditious public officials calling for armed defense of their smallest ideas. Except for a dozen other countries, it’s mostly much worse in other places.

All together we have a relative small oligarchy enslaving us, and the more they do the more they hasten the inevitable populist revolution. They are anti-women, anti-voter, anti-gay, and anti-the-rest-of-everything. If nothing else, they will die, and their perverse ideas will die with them. Even if the hysteria about Obama should somehow lead for a time to more old, white theocrats, that will only force their insanity further out on display and, therefore, more rapidly diminished and dismissed.

Oligarchs like Putin, will be done in by their own recklessness. Right-wingnuts often do our work for us, fully repudiating their own ideas because they lack the connective tissue to make any sense at all.

Old, white men are pursuing an agenda of perversity touching hundreds of countries, not to make America the beacon of hope it once was, and can again, but instead to be ruler of the entire planet. Here’s one of the worst examples — there is a secret organization known as The Family (also know as The Fellowship) which sponsors anti-homosexuality campaigns abroad to establish christianists’ unholy stranglehold of entire populations with the sole purpose of seizing control of these countries’ natural resources. With the aid, complicity, and full participations of past and current senators, congressmen, attorneys general, military commanders, and just plain businessmen in it for a buck or two, The Family operates 10,000 cells worldwide, corporate white-collar terrorists who just pledge their loyalty to Jesus’s plan (their interpretation of it to be sure), and then do whatever the hell they want.

People won’t be able to stay silent much longer.

So the diffuse and asymmetrical bad is coming at a fast pace now, faster than in anytime in the future but we are comforted by all the good that is emerging just as fast. The transformation of the world may not take as long as you might think. And the populist revolution we so desperately need will not necessarily be cataclysmic in nature because we are making incremental but substantive progress everyday. But, like I said, it’s natural to focus on the negative and ignore the good.

So, off the top of my head today, I’m going to start an inventory of all the good that is happening, and hope you will send your own citations. We can look at this growing list every time we feel discouraged when face to face with our enslavers.

  • Just today, as the result of many boots on the ground, and a 10-person lawsuit joined by the National Action Network, Detroit has stopped cutting off water to poor customers.
  • Also, today, President Obama newly protected lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from being discriminated against by federal contractors. This affects over 25% of the American workforce, and sets the table for a fully equality bill in congress.
  • Last week, thanks to the leadership of Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, an agreement has been reached to apply drug-sentencing retroactively, giving more than 45,000 prisoners the right to petition for reduced sentences or release, saving taxpayers millions and giving these people and their families renewed hope.
  • Many institutions, including faith groups, are unloading investments of fossil fuels, and many other campaigns of divestment are taking place, all for the greater good of the world.
  • Transgender Actress and Activist, Laverne Cox hit the cover of Time magazine, and becomes first transgender actress to be nominated  for an Emmy award. The conversation about sexual and gender freedom has never been more active.
  • Colleges are leading the way in designating gender-neutral dorms and gender-neutral bathrooms on its campuses.
  • Even the Supreme Court occasionally does something good, like protecting the search of your smart phone.

These are all examples of what we discuss in our Manifesto for a New Age of Sexual Freedom, wherein we posit that Sexual Freedom is the bedrock of all freedoms because it conveys the full end of racism, nationalism, and oppression by the few. Our treatise revives a long-held concept of what is needed: the gradual, hopefully not cataclysmic, end of old, inhuman, coercive systems run by governments, corporations, and religious hierarchies, while preserving from this history that which is old but also good, and building new, human, and entirely voluntary associations. A good example of something that is old and also good is reprinted below. Another is the gradual shift to local farming and food supply to replace hard-hearted, pesticide-infused agribusiness.

Send us samples of good popping up in your community and country that we can share with each other.

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons




why it says in the manifesto.


We shall overcome. We shall overcome.

Rounding Out for Independence Day Weekend: 7-minute Video Montage

Closing out a good weekend of reflection, remembering the once cherished America that valued its diversity born of immigration, yearning for the end of hate worldwide. As we wrote over the weekend, the puritans are responsible for the corporatized theocratic fundamentalism today eating away America and trouble spots across the globe; and, how and why sexual freedom is the bedrock of all freedoms and is worth fighting for.

So here’s our little celebration — a montage of some of our best Sexual Freedom Project videos of the last few years.

We send each contributor one of our prized VenusPlusX T-shirts (with our slogan: Sexual Freedom, You Are Born With It) when they send us a video (or an essay, work of art, etc.) expressing what sexual freedom means, or means to them. So get out your phone or video camera and let us hear from you!

This video runs 7:18 minutes. For more videos, click here.

Also: A Manifesto for A New Age of Sexual Freedom (2014)


Science is teaching us all about Lipophilia

Always Hungry? Here’s why

6361250197_29d92f8079_o[T]he increasing amount and processing of carbohydrates in the American diet has increased insulin levels, put fat cells into storage overdrive and elicited obesity-promoting biological responses in a large number of people .

. . . obesity rates . . . for adults, are almost three times what they were in the 1960s.

Addressing the underlying biological drive to overeat may make for a far more practical and effective solution to obesity than counting calories.

The latest frontier in nutritional research is revolutionary and important to every person, especially activists who wants to be more effective in changing the world. This ground-breaking information embraces our mission at VenusPlusX to help put an end to coercive systems that delay or otherwise interfere with the New Age of Sexual Freedom, such as the food industry that’s driven solely by greedy corporate interests supported by governments and your tax dollars.

Way back in 1908, a German internist named Gustav von Bergmann coined the term, Lipophilia, meaning love of fat, the first signal that metabolic disorder (rather than calorie imbalance or lack of willpower) causes overeating.

At last, new research picks up on this long-ignored theory and has been able to show a direct connection between sugar and modern processed foods and now epidemic rates of obesity (or even just weighing a little more than you would like too). These modern-day medical research heroes are showing us how stored fat inhibits our ability to absorb healthy calories and causes the overproduction of insulin, a vicious cycle that results in a compensating and progressively increased appetite, and, sadly more stored fat.

As it turns out, many biological factors affect the storage of calories in fat cells, including genetics, levels of physical activity, sleep and stress. But one has an indisputably dominant role: the hormone insulin. . . And of everything we eat, highly refined and rapidly digestible carbohydrates produce the most insulin. . . chips, crackers, cakes, soft drinks, sugary breakfast cereals and even white rice and bread.

Setting aside for a moment our urges for sugar and processed foods (including “diet” and “low fat” items), the only true enemy to this enlightenment is the food industry itself which literally banks on making all calories equal thereby justifying its mass production of super-profitable processed foods from corn, rice, and wheat, all of it from farms subsidized by tax dollars. Always calling for calorie balance and more and more personal willpower is the food industry’s first line of defense of their tax subsidized goldmine, all at the expense of our future health and the trillion-dollar obesity problems (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) that every tax payer is and will for some time be financially responsible for.

So you pay, first giving farm subsidies to produce the raw materials (corn, wheat, rice), then with our health after eating sugar and processed food from pesticide-ridden agribusiness (obesity, diabetes, and more) , then paying trillions in healthcare for millions of people with otherwise avoidable conditions. A lose-lose-lose situation we have solve very soon.

There will be numerous by-products of this research in the years to come, aside from making us all more healthy and effective. For example, we may finally see the end of “fat shaming,” that claims it is ignorance or lack of adequate will power causing people to be overweight. And, it will force a still closer look at corporate agriculture’s role in destroying our health through the mass use of pesticides, products like Monsanto’s RoundUp, now shown to have a direct connection to increased Autism, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and other ailments.

As more and more is understood how much we have been enslaved and manipulated by corporate interests, we uncover knowledge and get busy taking better care of each other.

Tip: Fed Up, a movie now playing in theaters from An Inconvenient Truth
Laurie David, is all about revealing biologic truth
to the masses about what we are eating. Check it out.



Re-envisioning the future: A personal call to action

VenusPlusX re-envisions the future as A New Age of Sexual Freedom because that is a state of being the heralds the end of racism (at its root sexual oppression) and the end of nationalism for the purposes of war (at its root racism)and other forms of inhumane exploitation. In connection with our recent relaunch, a manifesto for this new age was offered up for comment and critique. It included a working formula to bring about peace, and some of the obstacles in our way. Using this tried and true, non-violent formula (systematically replacing coercive systems with humane voluntary associations), we can bring about universal solidarity (world peace) and justice.

We purposely frame the conversation about peace and justice in terms of Sexual Freedom because, in part, it corresponds to the end of racism, sexism, nationalism, etc., and also because it makes us more visible as emissaries along the way towards this better future. We work in the present not for this future but as this future, now in this moment, the here and now of making things better for the largest number of people, starting now. When we take action, any action, based on application of this formula, it serves as a guide to enhancing productivity and a confidence in our purpose because in this way we are able to stay fully conscious and balanced in choosing the next steps that would be appropriate.

Of course, I apply this formula for peace to the equality rights movement, both nationally and globally, and it turns out to be a personal call to action.

If we are truly relentless in trying to free our movement of its own coercive systems, we have to take a frank look at how we are ourselves obstacles to our goals, and show a ready willingness to escape the status quo. If we look at our movement in terms of what’s good now that can be preserved, what should be left behind as a coercive system within our movement, and what new voluntary associations can we make to more fully realize our joint goals in the shortest amount of time, two problems to work on right now quickly emerge.

First, while it’s a given that we support organizations whose mission we agree with, we must ask ourselves why we have what is almost comically referred to as “Gay, Inc.”? Nurturing and training the leaders of the future is by itself a noble enterprise, and we certainly need some cadre of people to insure compliance with better lawmaking, but should not these 700 organizations in the United States alone, all with more or less overlapping agendas, have as its number one goal be instead planned obsolescence?

Haven’t we already deduced that coalitions are more effective and worthy of greater donor support than more and more separate and often competing organizations? Why do we hold so dearly to this model when so much more progress is possible by merging most of these organizations into just a few that reflect higher goals shared by more people?

Let’s stop ignoring the fact that those who would enslave us to their unjust ideologies just love that we have so many organizations, are so disjointed, we even brand ourselves with letters, L, G, B, T, Q, I, etc., to display our disjointedness.

An apt analogy is that national borders and barriers would instantly become extinct if suddenly earth had visitors from another planet. Friendly or unfriendly aliens, we would immediately put down our nationalistic impulses in favor a world united in responding to such an “invasion.” Likewise, the equality rights movement has to strategize and develop our agendas in a transparent way that encourages rather than discourages the coalescing of organizations for a mutual purpose, folding these hundreds of organizations into just a few with a clearly stated and complementary agenda. It seems needless to say this would be a power block in today’s politics.

Second, by tapping into this peace formula to root out our movement’s own coercive systems, we have to ask why our goal to end discrimination is tarnished because of the disunity our alphabet soup floats on? We go to conferences led by respected national organizations and find sexism, racism, and homophobia and especially transphobia as obiquitous as the cocktails. When are we going to get our act together? Why don’t we get rid of the bullies in our midst that are the progenitors of homophobia and transphobia once and for all?

No sexism racism homophobiaIn order to end the need for a Gay, Inc., to protect us, to instead arrive together at a time and place where everyone is free from discrimination, racism, and social injustice, we have to today become the thing we want by starting to reflect that as fact with the brightest light we can muster. If we are incessantly competing for the attention of donors and the media, if we can’t end homophobia and transphobia among our own ranks, if we cant demonstrate to the rest of the world how to do that, it defeats our integrity as a movement, and, sadly, it means that lots of donations have been sought and spent for spinning wheels.

But there is even a more important reason to consolidate and to institute zero tolerance of homophobia and transphopia in our own ranks (and to continue to examine our movement in terms replacing our own coercive systems in our movement with more humane and focused voluntary associations). When we reflect in real time and in unison our jointly-held, hoped-for future, where discrimination is no longer legal, and education and advocacy are complete, we arrive at a clarity of purpose wherein lies the only rational basis for deciding what to do next. Then, there will be no stopping us.

Simply, if you can see the future, you can know what to do next, and not be an obstacle yourself on the road to The New Age of Sexual Freedom.